The Indonesian Navy has commissioned two new Teluk Bintuni-class landing ship tank (LST), KRI Teluk Palu (523), on March 8, 2021. The ships were handed over directly by the Indonesian Navy Chief of Staff Yudo Margonoto at PT Daya Radar Utama (DRU), Bandar Lampung. KRI Teluk Palu was built by an Indonesian shipbuilder PT Daya Radar Utama (DRU), Bandar Lampung. The ship was ordered from DRU as part of a three-ship order of the Teluk Bintuni-class ships (AT-117 type LST program) in January 2017, with yard number of AT-6. The ship was laid down on 10 July 2017, along with two other ships, AT-5 and AT-7. She was launched and officially named on 1 June 2019. The name KRI Teluk Palu is derived from the name of a bay in Central Halmahera, North Maluku’s Central Weda District. Teluk Palu (Palu Bay) is located on the north coast of Sulawesi in the Indonesian province of Central Sulawesi.
Teluk Palu has a length of 117 metres (383 ft 10 in), a beam measuring 16.4 metres (53 ft 10 in), and a height of 7.8 metres (25 ft 7 in) with a draft of 3 metres (9 ft 10 in). She has a capacity of 476 passengers, including crew, alongside 10 Leopard main battle tanks and a helicopter. The ship was designed to be able to stay at sea for 20 days. With a crew of 119, consisting of 113 sailors and 6 helicopter crew, she has a displacement of 2,300 tonnes and has a maximum speed of 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph). The ship is armed with light defensive weapons in form of a Bofors 40 mm gun and two 12.7 mm heavy machine guns. The vessel could also carry four LCVP boats, and is equipped with a crane for cargo loading and offloading.
Indonesian Navy has long been engaged in an effort to strengthen the country’s maritime capabilities to address a wide range of domestic and foreign challenges, in recognition of the sobering reality that it still finds it difficult to accomplish even basic tasks such as monitoring and securing what is the world’s second longest coastline. The Tank Landing Ship had a highly specialized design that enabled ocean crossings as well as shore groundings. The Teluk Bintuni class, Indonesian designation AT-117M is a class of tank landing ships that is being built indigenously for the Indonesian Navy by various Indonesian local shipyards. It was announced that the Indonesian Navy intends to acquire a total of twelve vessels of the same class with some modifications from the lead ship to improve ship’s capability.